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  1. #1
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    The Crew's Pasts

    Obviously this article will have spoilers, so be sure you've watched all of Outlaw Star before proceeding. So a couple of days ago I stumbled upon some new facts about Jim that answer a couple of questions I've had for years. Then I decided I may as well write what we know about the other characters too. It's late and I'm tired so correct me if I missed anything! By the way, I don't intend for this to be a long article so I'll keep it concise.




    Gene Starwind

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    Gene was born to a travelling space merchant called Norman Starwind. The name of Gene's mother or her appearance are unknown, though it's to be expected that she was a redhead since Norman wasn't. It's also a subject of debate where Gene was born. One could speculate that Gene's mother left at an early age. This is because Norman made a living from travelling and trading regularly which isn't a life many can tolerate. Due to his father's lifestyle, Gene took an interest in spacecraft at an early age. Even as a very young teen he could operate a spaceship. Unfortunately, at the age of fourteen his father was added to another merchant's hit list and Ronald MacDougall was hired to assassinate him. Norman's trading ship did have an escape pod, but since the ship was only really designed for one person he forced Gene into the pod and sacrificed his life for his son's. After some time in space (this intense isolation probably led to Gene's spacephobia) the pod entered Sentinel III's atmosphere and plummeted down to its surface...

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    It wasn't a smooth landing. Gene sustained multiple lacerations and most likely fractured bones; he wasn't just broken mentally. After recovery he was thrown back to the harsh reality of fending for himself in an urban society. In his father's care Gene was a good kid. On his own Gene had to learn to defend himself against Sentinel III's crime syndicates. In the space of three years he had become more comfortable with his new life and was even popular with the ladies, though he developed a drinking problem to alleviate the pain from his bad memories. He had also become a promising gunman, but was still a long way from becoming an established bounty hunter. At the age of seventeen he met Jim Hawking, though I'll cover that a little farther down.



    Jim Hawking

    Less is known about Jim Hawking's past, but similar to Gene's he had to spend considerable time on Sentinel III on his own, and he learned the skills of his trade through his father. Though we do not have a real name, we know that Jim's father was a famous hacker known as the Computer Wizard. I've acquired a transcript of Outlaw Star's drama CD. While I'm not disclosing what I'll do with the full translation yet, I can tell you a few facts. In one scene, Jim explained to a woman called Natalie that his father was actually serving prison time at Homige, the USSA's capital planet. This means that the Space Forces arrested Jim's father for illegal hacking, though it's unknown what his sentence was. Here's the important one though... *drumroll* Jim's mother is dead. Yup. He also told Natalie this. Doing the maths, Jim had been living on his own (maybe a hostel) on Sentinel III from the age of eight, possibly younger. Because that's when he met Gene. It's unknown when or how Jim's mother died, but it was clear he had some very fond memories when he compared Melfina to her.

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    Starwind & Hawking Enterprises

    Gene and Jim didn't set up their business immediately. They first met by chance and helped each other take down a notorious criminal. Gene used his brawn by drawing the criminal out and engaging him in a gunfight while Jim used his brains to hack the criminal's computer and find incriminating evidence. After this they became good friends. It's to be assumed that they took on odd jobs together but weren't established enough until two years later when Gene was nineteen and Jim was ten. They then set up Starwind & Hawking Enterprises, and one year after the anime's events begun.



    Melfina

    There really isn't that much to write here. One of the main reasons behind finding the Galactic Leyline was giving Melfina answers about her past. It was Gene's promise to her. Years before the show's events, Gwen Khan worked alongside the pirates and the Space Forces. He couldn't fully understand it, but he used the information he gathered from a metaphorical "black box" to develop the XGP and Melfina so that they could interface and be able to dive into the Leyline. The location of the Leyline was known by the elites long before Gene found it. They just didn't know how to enter it because their means to do so had been swiped by Hilda.

    I always thought of Melfina as something more than a bio-android. I don't think she was constructed by humans since she was able to communicate with the Maiden of the Leyline (almost a clone of her), so I think that Gwen programmed the vessel which was Melfina. I think of Melfina as a remnant of the transcendent Leyline race. Perhaps Melfina regained all of her memories when she made contact with the Maiden. We just don't know.

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    Suzuka

    At the Leyline we finally find out the real reason Suzuka tagged along with Gene. It wasn't just because she had the hots for Gene (let's face it—she did though) but she had a score to settle with a certain member of the Anten Seven called Hitoriga. He slaughtered her family and most other people in her village. As explained in her theme song Setsuna, after losing her family she wandered from town to town aimlessly. Why Hitoriga did what he did or his relation to Suzuka's village is unknown (if anyone could shed some light..?), but Suzuka decided to make use of the martial arts skills she learned from a young age and gain money and experience by becoming an assassin with the ultimate goal of vengeance.

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    Aisha Clanclan

    Most of what we know about Aisha Clanclan's past is based on assumptions that regard the Ctarl-Ctarl race as a whole. We know that Aisha had a wealthy upbringing and attended one of the top military schools, only to be sent out to space as her reward. You'd probably learn more about what her upbringing was like by reading our Ctarl-Ctarl article here.
    Gene: "Have faith in me guys, enjoy the ride—you're in good hands. I can handle this. I can do it!"
    Jim: "How do you know?"
    Gene: "I don't!"
    Jim: "I knew it."
    Gene: "That's okay. There's a first time for everything!"

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  3. #2
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    Great read! That's quite a bombshell dropped concerning Jim's past (it's been teased on this very forum we may yet learn more about Jim and Gene's meeting, so I'll patiently await the day that may come to fruition).

    I don't have any ancillary materials to add, unfortunately, but if I recall from my last re-viewing, Hitoriga--in a 'we're not so different, you and I' villain's ploy--casually remarked offhandedly something to the effect of "we understand each other, we both kill" which implied that he may have killed her family simply as part of a job. Though who would pay to have Suzuka's family killed and why, who could say?

    While I'm thinking about Suzuka (I've probably said this before elsewhere, but I can't recall), one thing that always impressed me in OS was how little we know about her background; I know that might sound strange, but the offhanded mention of Suzuka's parents being killed, the succinctness by which we learn "oh, so that's her motivation" without even pausing in the action is always refreshing to come back to...most anime nowadays? That'd be cue for anywhere between the whole latter half of an episode to several full ones depicting a flashback to hit viewers over the head with a hammer, "This is plot, it's sad that so and so's parents died, see how much exposition we can get away with?" etc. etc. XD

    BUT boy did I digress! Anyway great work as always, Mr. Mantis.
    No one's gonna' give you a map. You've gotta' walk your own path.
    - Hilda

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    Can I hug the young Gene and Jim now? I feel like I need to hug them. I just do.
    "I don't know what words I can say
    The wind has a way to talk to me
    Flowers sleep, a silent lullaby
    I pray for reply
    I'm ready"
    -Melfina's Song

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  7. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by (Who is) Lobo View Post
    Great read! That's quite a bombshell dropped concerning Jim's past (it's been teased on this very forum we may yet learn more about Jim and Gene's meeting, so I'll patiently await the day that may come to fruition).
    Glad you liked it, and you'll enjoy that upcoming thing even more.

    Quote Originally Posted by (Who is) Lobo View Post
    I don't have any ancillary materials to add, unfortunately, but if I recall from my last re-viewing, Hitoriga--in a 'we're not so different, you and I' villain's ploy--casually remarked offhandedly something to the effect of "we understand each other, we both kill" which implied that he may have killed her family simply as part of a job. Though who would pay to have Suzuka's family killed and why, who could say?
    It's a good question. It's also very possible that their then-current occupations (for a lack of better terms) were unrelated to the village incident. I'm planning to create a follow-up article to the magic one I did but with a focus on Tao magic. I've always assumed Hitoriga was a shapeshifter which he used Tao magic for. If that were true however, why would he wear a hood nearly 24/7 if he could change his appearance at will? It's as if he chose to look like Suzuka but lost his powers and was stuck with her appearance forever. I think Suzuka's past is further explained in a light novel, but I lack the means (currently) to further investigate this.

    Quote Originally Posted by (Who is) Lobo View Post
    While I'm thinking about Suzuka (I've probably said this before elsewhere, but I can't recall), one thing that always impressed me in OS was how little we know about her background; I know that might sound strange, but the offhanded mention of Suzuka's parents being killed, the succinctness by which we learn "oh, so that's her motivation" without even pausing in the action is always refreshing to come back to...most anime nowadays? That'd be cue for anywhere between the whole latter half of an episode to several full ones depicting a flashback to hit viewers over the head with a hammer, "This is plot, it's sad that so and so's parents died, see how much exposition we can get away with?" etc. etc. XD

    BUT boy did I digress! Anyway great work as always, Mr. Mantis.
    The narrator explains people's fascination with mysteries in one intro, and that they love to say, "Oh, so that's what it was" upon solving one. Gotta say, the guy had a point! I like how relevant that intro was to the show itself and its lore. You're right; I like her story's subtlety. Sometimes you don't need a huge backstory. A lot of things are best left to the imagination after only being given a few snippets of information.
    Gene: "Have faith in me guys, enjoy the ride—you're in good hands. I can handle this. I can do it!"
    Jim: "How do you know?"
    Gene: "I don't!"
    Jim: "I knew it."
    Gene: "That's okay. There's a first time for everything!"

    Anime and Steam info

    Anime-Planet.com - anime | manga | reviews



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    I always had a feeling Jim's mom was dead, especially after that scene with Melfina, but it's still sad to have that confirmed.
    But this is part of why I love Gene and Jim. They're not just friends, they have a connection much deeper than just friendship.
    Thanks for the info! I love Jim, and it's great to have more info on him.

    https://www.twitch.tv/hippieharris<--My friend's Twitch channel (I'm usually there with other friends)
    .

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    In some ways I think it's a shame the crew's pasts weren't explored in more detail, but at the same time you could say one of the key themes of Outlaw Star is 'not where you have been, but where you are going'.

    Great write-up as always, Mantis! A short one, but a sweet one.

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    Concerning Suzuka's past, there's actually more information that the novel gives us on the matter. That said, it also doesn't line up with the reason for revenge given in the anime all too well.

    I could give the whole translated story here, but I don't want to take away from the main article.
    The long and short of it is that Suzuka was training with a sword master (on some planet,) this is when she was just an apprentice. One day a man showed up whom she considered thick-headed and somewhat stupid, a person who also wanted to train. While Suzuka didn't agree with it, the swordmaster didn't mind. One day she was out, she drew near to the "house" and smelled blood in the air. She investigated to find the master slain inside, and Hitoriga (the man) nowhere to be found. She found him training on a nearby plateau, where his movements seemed radically different from before. She inquired, and soon discovered he was the culprit. He took on the visage of her master, and seemed to have taken his skills as well. He reveals he works for the pirates, one of Hazanko's Senior officials. He then fuses wizardry with a sword technique to blow Suzuka off the cliff where she hits her head and falls unconscious.


    The story can be found on pages 16 through 21.
    Outlaw Star RPG

    Current translation work: Manga.

    Translated OLS manga # pages (As of: 5/14)
    Volume 2: 29
    Volume 3: 40

    Started back up with translating the Manga

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    If that's all the novel explains regarding this, I'm going to have to consider it retcon myself. It's clearly explained by the show's writers that she sought Hitoriga to avenge her family's deaths. I wouldn't consider the novel canon, and this kind of thing happens all the time with TV shows and video games that have novels.
    Gene: "Have faith in me guys, enjoy the ride—you're in good hands. I can handle this. I can do it!"
    Jim: "How do you know?"
    Gene: "I don't!"
    Jim: "I knew it."
    Gene: "That's okay. There's a first time for everything!"

    Anime and Steam info

    Anime-Planet.com - anime | manga | reviews



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    Hey, I'm new here getting a feel of the place and this immediately drew me in. Having watched this series a dozen times I'd always wondered how Jim and Gene met. While this article was satisfying, it also made me want to see episodes dedicated to it. *sigh* the struggles of loving a discontinued series.
    "No one's gonna give you a map, you've gotta walk your own path."

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    The Sound & Scenario episodes will come eventually, but there's so much other stuff to do as well. (Still, I've taken way longer than I should have...) I will say that they are brilliant, and I look forward to cleaning the grammar in the translation I received and "converting" it to a more video-oriented format. The second episode which is about Gene and his friends being locked in a casino by a couple of mischievous Ctarl-Ctarl girls is also a blast!
    Gene: "Have faith in me guys, enjoy the ride—you're in good hands. I can handle this. I can do it!"
    Jim: "How do you know?"
    Gene: "I don't!"
    Jim: "I knew it."
    Gene: "That's okay. There's a first time for everything!"

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